Mother and Child

Mother and Child
Painting by Pablo Picasso

Friday, August 13, 2010

CNN Article - When Adult Children Fail, Parents Suffer To

I saw this article on today --

The title is "When Adult Children Fail, Parents Suffer Too". I don't think the title does the article justice. I would've titled it something more towards "When an Adult Child Struggles...."

The article discusses the emotional impact on a parent when their child struggles - with relationship issues, money issues, abuse or addiction. It has a big impact on the parent, even though the parent finished their raising job long ago.

It made me wonder about the emotional impact on mothers who placed their child for adoption. This stress may be encountered the entire time since surrender/placing. And worse, it's total unknown. Their child is most likely out there, alive, somewhere.

It also makes me wonder about an adoptive mother that I knew years ago. She had adopted a son and then went on to have two biological children. When I met her, years ago, her youngest child was in her last years of high school. But the story that stayed with me was that, while going thru a divorce before I had met her, her husband (adopted son's adad) had been teaching their then 12-year-old adopted son how to make things explode and yes, the adopted son was killed in an explosion that he and his adad had been working on. The adad survived with barely a scratch and the adopted son died. This was long ago and if it happened today, of course, the adad would be brought up on charges, but not so back then. This brings me around to the firstmother, whose son would've been in his late 30s by now. She has no way of ever knowing that her son died years ago at the hand of a negligent adoptive father. She may very well continue her anxiety about her son's whereabouts and imagine how his life went.

The other thought that this article brought up for me is what happens when a firstmother, who dreams and fantasizes that her child lost to adoption is having a wonderful life and the cold, brutal reality is all-the-sudden there that her child had not had a wonderful life. What if her child was placed in an abusive or negligent situation. What stress does it create to find out that your adult child is floundering in life and may never be able to be a productive citizen? What havoc does it create in a parent's mind when it's a realization that she maybe could've done a better job, even being single? How does a parent carry the torment that in doing what was perceived as the best thing for their child, put that child in a loveless, cruel upbringing?

I can't even begin to wrap my brain around the intensity of those emotions. All the sudden, at least knowing where your adult child is, even when they're struggling, is much more peaceful than not knowing what happened to them. I would think.....

1 comment:

  1. I certainly can't speak for anyone but me, but I do know that it is very hard for me, now that I know, to deal with some things. I stress when I know something is wrong, or suspect there is, I worry when there is silence and I don't know what to do or say to make it all better. It is very hard to be a parent, no matter what. For me, it is amazingly painful, because I really have no idea what the triggers and issues are, and I feel lost most of the time.


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